House of Joy – Dim Sum

After our excursion downtown to Mercer Labs, we went to Chinatown for dim sum lunch. Through a friend I met on vacation (an Australian Chinese woman), we went to House of Joy. This was truly a cultural experience — very authentic — and I loved every minute of it.

 

Girls outside the restaurant. I love Chinatown, it has such character, flair, and high energy.

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Mercer Labs

It was arctic temperatures in NYC this past weekend (and week!), which meant, finding fun indoor activities to get us out of the house. So with a little research, I found Mercer Labs, a new light and technology museum in TriBeCa. I had high hopes of this museum as the reviews were great — and it was even better than I expected. Mercer Labs is a 15 room immersive and interactive experience. Each room was SO cool and we absolutely loved every part of it. We stayed for a full hour, but could have easily been there a lot longer.

 

Everything about the museum was terrific — not just the exhibits, but the staff, the cleanliness, all of it.

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Watson Adventures Scavenger Hunts

I had lots of different ideas for my son’s 14th birthday party, but due to last minute planning and bad weather, we ended up with an organized scavenger hunt in Grand Central. Although thrown together last minute — it was a hit and I highly recommend for adults and kids alike. It was a private event, created by Watson Adventures, and it was sooooo much fun. The questions were quite difficult and we ran all around Grand Central trying to figure out each clue.

 

We met with our guide at a meeting spot, downloaded the information we needed on our phones, and took off. Since there were only 6 boys (and myself), we were one team, but I created prizes for everyone. It was highly competitive, everyone was very engaged, and we all had so much fun.

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Long Island City

This past weekend, we were in the city with no plans on Saturday night. Although I love nothing more than a night in, we decided to go on a field trip to Long Island City, where I had not been in years. And HOLY COW — it is SOOOOOOOOOOO different and a city in itself (hence the name). It was super easy to get to in the car (just over the 59th street bridge) and fun to explore a new part of our backyard. I can’t wait to go back there and eat at different restaurants, see the sights, and experience a different part of our eclectic city.

 

Trip over the bridge with the iconic sign “Silver Cup”

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Chick Chick

Over the weekend, we wanted to eat a delicious sandwich (any kind of sandwich, just delicious), so I did some research (thank you google) and came across the BEST FRIED CHICKEN SANDWICH in New York City. It was absolutely incredible and warranted this title. So if you are in NYC, crave a fried chicken sandwich, then I *HIGHLY* recommend traveling to the Upper West Side and going to Chick Chick.

 

Chick Chick opened a year ago by chef Jun Park, who wanted to create a restaurant with his two most favorite foods: fried chicken and ramen.

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Sarah Sze: Timelapse

Thanks to a college friend (the head curator of Storm King), I was invited on a private tour of the new exhibit at the Guggenheim: Sarah Sze Timelapse. It was a wonderful hour spent listening to the head curator of the exhibit, Kyung An, and learning SO much (apparently I am the last one to know about Sarah Sze!!!!) It is an interesting exhibit but made incredibly worthwhile with the descriptions and explanations of each work and the thought process behind it.

 

It starts at the bottom of the rotunda and then restarts on the 6th floor (there is another exhibit in between — but Sarah Sze is the main feature).

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City Pickle

Last year during the Spring/Summer/Fall seasons, Wollman Rink turned into a rollerskating rink from its original ice skating. This year, during the warm months, Wollman Rink has become a Pickleball Haven! 14 courts of pickleballs on real pickleball surface for open play or full court reservations. So of course we had to go play (and we will be back!)

 

It is the same inside, but with lockers, rentals, and better option food (Roberta Pizza!)

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Flaco the Owl

As many people have, I too, have become totally enthralled and obsessed with the story of Flaco the Owl. For those of you who do not know Flaco, Flaco is an owl that escaped a month ago from Central Park Zoo. After eluding many different rescue attempts, Flaco now lives in Central Park freely and most likely will continue to live a free life away from the zoo. Flaco escaped the zoo on February 2nd, once its enclosure was vandalized. Flaco has lived in captivity at the zoo since 2010, and everyone has been worried if Flaco would be able to survive alone in the wild. But sure enough, Flaco is not only surviving, but thriving in the city. There was an incredible story in the NYTimes  “Everyone Loves Flaco the Escaped Owl. But Why, Exactly?” and I highly suggest reading it — maybe you, too, will become interested in finding and spotting Flaco!

 

This past weekend, we went searching for Flaco — almost the whole day Sunday.

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Sunday in Brooklyn

In the past month, we have been going to Brooklyn for brunch. There is something and fun and different to get in our car, drive to a different borough, and eat where we are not going to know a single person. Recently, we ended up at Sunday in Brooklyn, on a SUNDAY in BROOKLYN (very meta). It was after I researched where “the best pancakes are served in NYC,” and this was at the top of every list I came across.

 

It takes reservations, but on the Sunday we went, there were not any available spots, so we walked in, and put our name on the waitlist and walked around Domino Park — which had beautiful views of Manhattan. Windy and cold, but still beautiful and picturesque.

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Dim Sum NYC

The weekend before Thanksgiving, I had a craving to go to dim sum in the city. After an extensive search online on what the best dim sum restaurant is, we ended up at Nom Wah Tea Parlor. It was everything that I had hoped for, and I highly suggest going (and waiting) for a great dim sum meal if in the city.

 

Down a car free street. It was a cold morning and despite it opening up at 11 am (and us getting there then), we still had to wait for 45 minutes. That said, it was worth it.

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Knockout Beauty Skin Routine

Last Spring, I had the opportunity to take a “master class” at Knockout Beauty. Knockout Beauty is a beautiful skincare store with highly educated and informed salespeople, where I have been purchasing skincare items for years. That said, it was my first time taking a class and getting a one on one experience of what worked best for my skin. It was INCREDIBLE. I learned SOOOO much and bought products that are right for my skin (without being pushed on me) and I highly suggest stopping by Knockout Beauty, or calling them and asking them for a skin consultation. These are my favorite four products that I cannot live without.

 

The bag.

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Governors Island Glamping

One of my favorite places in NYC is Governors Island, a 172 acre island that is 800 yards from Manhattan (a 7 minute ferry ride!). It is the perfect place to spend a day wandering and feels like a vacation, when it is only minutes away from home (well depending on the traffic….). And even better — you can spend the night there! It is an upscale camping experience and is a memorable and truly perfect way to spend the night. Recently, I took my daughter “glamping” on Governors Island mid week and it was the highlight of our Spring.

 

This is Tusia on Governors Island in 2017. Since then, the green space has turned in to the property for the glamping, Collective Retreats.

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L’industrie Pizza

In my constant search of  “the best pizza in NYC,” I landed at L’industrie Pizza in Brooklyn. Ranked by all the food websites as one of the best slices in NYC, we decided to make the trek to Williamsburg to try it out (and by trek, it is really not that far — it is just the mental jump from one borough to the next). And sure enough, it was ever so delicious and worth going to.

 

We placed the order online ahead of time so that it could be there when we got to Brooklyn. (We knew ahead of time that there would be no seats for us, so we wanted to have a picnic in the car).

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Brooklyn Drive In Movie

I always claim that we are a Manhattan family that spends more time in Brooklyn. For whatever reason, there are so many different activities and adventures to go on there! Last Friday night, we went to the Brooklyn Drive In Movie Theater, Skyline Drive In, and I cannot wait to go back again! It was a super fun adventure for everyone in the family (although I am a rookie at the drive in game, and need to step it up next time with what I learned). Skyline Drive Inn is located right on the East River in Greenpoint with killer views of Manhattan (if it is not foggy….) and plays two different movies on two screens — one current film and one old school film that changes daily.

 

Skyline Drive In.

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Rolo’s

After a personal recommendation AND reading about it in the NYTimes, we decided to trek to Ridgewood, a neighborhood in Queens, to try out the restaurant Rolo’s. Definitely a trains-plane-automobile situation to get there, but the food and adventure was worth it. The restaurant was started by 3 ex-Gramercy Tavern chefs (an old time favorite and Classic NYC restaurant) and every bite was delicious. If you are up for a different neighborhood and scene, definitely check it out!

 

And of course, on the 10 minute walk from the subway station, we came across a Biggie Smalls mural, which I love…because I love Biggie and most of all, 90s hip hop.

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Jordan Nassar Exhibit

If you happen to be in NYC any time between now and May 7th, I highly suggest that you visit the artist Jordan Nassar‘s work shown at the James Cohan Gallery. And even if you DON’T make it to the gallery, I recommend becoming familiar with Jordan Nassar! Jordan Nassar is a 37 year old native New Yorker (The Collegiate School graduate) and his artwork is mainly hand embroidery.

 

I did a solo trek down to James Cohan’s gallery on Walker street in TriBeCa. As someone who needlepoints and has a mother AND a daughter that both love to embroider, I appreciate looking at other people’s creation. And Jordan Nassar is unbelievable — his creativity and colors blew me away.

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Currently Loving April 2022

It’s unbelievable to me that we are almost half way through the year — I have been hibernating the past 2.5 months, so it feels a little surreal, and yet, here we are. Here is what I am currently loving!

 

1. Trader Joe’s Egg Wraps

 

A low carb version of a tortilla or a wrap and just as delicious! So good to eat as a savory or sweet snack.

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Boba Tea NYC

In my dreams, I am still very young, but even though I am not, I still love some of the fads that all the young people love….such as Boba Tea! I love it — it is sweet, milky, fun with the tapioca balls, and oh so delicious. And what better place than NYC to try all the different Boba Tea places. Thankful to google and eater, I found a bajillion boba places and they all look AMAZING. So, due to logistics and where I was in the city, I ended up at Raccoon Cave. It is very Tik-Tok crazy and an instagram moment, but the tea was delicious and I would absolutely return for more.

The window where the boba comes out…

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Fall 2021 To Do

Here we are — Fall 2021! There is always so much to do in Fall — the start of school, the shift in weather — and here is a list of everything and anything that I want to do!

 

1. Eat at Thai Diner

 

Thai Diner is exactly what it sounds — a diner that is influenced by Thai food. Recommended by a friend I always trust, this downtown restaurant is a Thai Love Letter to the classic American diner. It gets rave reviews and the dishes look incredibly interesting and delicious. I can’t wait to try it out.

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Flower District

Since fresh flowers are one of the things that bring me joy, I decided that this year, I would make my way down to the Flower District in NYC (28th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues) on a weekly basis. Ever since I made that commitment (to myself), I have gone every. single. Monday. Literally, rain or shine, I figure out a way to pack it in to my schedule. I have walked there, taken cabs, or most often, I run there. I love this adventure so much — not just because I get the freshest of fresh flowers at a great cost, but also, because I get to meet new people and see the city. I now have a guy at my flower shop and he knows I come every week, so he always tells me what is the freshest and even gives me discounts. These small little interactions, and the fresh blooms, are what keep me going — pandemic, gloomy weather, remote learning, feelings of isolation, nothing to do — it’s the little things that make the big difference.

 

This past Monday, it was SOOOO rainy and dark. But, nothing stopped me.

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Nami Nori

If you live in NYC, you have to RUN right now to Nami Nori, the newest Japanese restaurant in the West Village. Only one month old, it was created by three ex-employees from Masa (whose tasting menu costs $595 per person!!!!). This new restaurant is casual elegant with accessible prices specializing in Temaki (hand rolls). Absolutely everything about this restaurant is perfection: the zen Japanese vibe, the appetizers, the temaki, the desserts, the staff, everything! So if you live in NYC, make a reservation and GO! And if you don’t live in NYC, it is an excuse to come in to the city and eat!

 

The appetizers: FRIES, spicy tuna on crispy rice, shishito peppers, and nori chips (oh my god, the best).

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Eataly Rooftop – Serra on the Roof

While running family errands this past weekend, we stopped in at Eataly’s rooftop for lunch. Ken and I had been there during early summer years ago and loved the ambiance, decor, and food so much. Newly decorated for Autumn, it was the perfect place to grab a bite to eat in a beautiful setting. The rooftop restaurant, Serra on the roof, serves Italian cuisine and drinks. The food is simple and great, but the DECOR, my god, it is so beautiful! My daughter (who didn’t love her lunch) was so in awe of the space that she kept saying she wanted to have her birthday party there.

 

Magical.

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MUJI Embroidered Socks

Three of my favorite things all combined together: socks, embroidery and MUJI! In recent months, a new MUJI opened nearby, which is the store that carries my all time favorite pens and umbrellas. So naturally, I went to pop in and see what other goodies they carry. Of course, I became even more excited when I found out that they have an embroidery station on site. This embroidery service allows customers to choose from over 300 embroidered designs and letters to add to any of the brand’s clothing or textile items. I chose socks — and as geeky as it sounds — I couldn’t be happier. But you could pick anything! Backpacks, fannypacks, jackets, bags, shirts, anything and everything. SO FUN!

 

Colors, font, pictures — so many options to choose from! I went with just my name. A little pop of humor and fun to my everyday outfit.

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Bar Pisellino

On a beautiful summery day last weekend, we went with friends-that-are-family to Bar Pisellino, a bar that I had read about and was so excited to try out. If you know me, I have been obsessed with Aperol Spritzes for the past 12 months, and Bar Pisellino not only serves them, but has them on TAP. YUP — Aperol ON DRAFT.

 

Nothing better than summer nights in Manhattan….especially with epic and gorgeous skies as documented by @ken.natori

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Zara Candle

As mentioned Friday, I have a newfound love for Zara Home. When in Paris a couple of weeks ago, I bought a simple candle that made me happy. Most candles these days seem to cost 40 dollars plus, so when I found this pretty (and beautiful smelling) candle for 17 euros, I knew I had to buy it.

 

Pink and green box.

Pink and green box. Tuberose smell — sweet and perfect. (Minorly crushed in my carry-on… apologies)

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